During the Mentor Graphics Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) 2013 last month, Teal Group Vice President of Analysis Richard Aboulafia delivered both good and bad nws related to current and future aerospace market trends.
The commercial passenger jet airliners (or jetliners) to watch are the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX. “This is a well-run duopoly brought to you by Airbus and Boing,” Aboulafia described. “The best part is they both do a good job of reducing fuel consumption, reducing noise, and responding to customer need.”
Does Bombardier have what it takes to transform the commercial airliner duopoly into a tripoly? “Bombardier is trying to break into this business with the C-Series, which is looking like a really good project and could break up the Airbus-Boing dominance in the single-aisle market,” Aboulafia added.
China, Japan, and Russia are also investing in an aerospace infrastructure, Aboulafia explained. “These countries are going to be spending heavily on design software, trying to get in or—in the case of Russia—get back in the business of building big planes.
What does the future hold? More-electric aircraft (MEA) are taking off. MEA describes aircraft that are increasingly complex and employ advanced electronic and electrical systems, opposed to manual or hydraulic solutions. According to Aboulafia, more-electric is absolutely the future of aviation, but we could see a number of technological disruptions along the way. It is, perhaps, “a road paved with lithium-ion batteries,” he said.
This geek always enjoys Aboulafia’s talks and insights, especially amidst the confusing times, downturned global economies, and sequestration.